Friday, September 20, 2013

Unit Four, Short Stories: Lesson Eight, Goat or Dog

English for Teachers by Hassan Taman.jpg


A poor villager went to the market to buy a goat. Three thieves saw him carrying it on his back, and formed a plan to get the goat to themselves. They stationed themselves at intervals on the road along which he had to travel. When the villager approached, the first thief said: "why are you carrying a dog on your back? Are you not ashamed?" He said this because, as a Muslim, the villager would be polluted by touching any unclean animal such as the dog. The Villager replied: "It is not a dog; it is a goat." A little later, he met the second thief, who said "Hajj, why are you carrying a dog on your back? are you not ashamed?". The villager felt perplexed, put the goat down, and examined it. But finding it all right, he took it up again, and walked on. He was soon stopped by the third thief, who put the same question to him as the other two. The villager became frightened, threw down the goat, and went to perform his ablutions for having carried, as the three thieves had now made him believe, and unclean animal. The thieves took the goat and ate it, laughing all the time at the simplicity of the villager who was so easily deceived.


  1. Why did the villager put the goat down the first time?
  2. Why did the villager put the put the goat down the second time?
  3. Why did the three thieves ask the villager the same question?
  4. What can you learn from his story?
  5. Did the thieves meet the villager before going to the market? How do you know?
  • Find words (or phrases) from the passage that mean the following:
  • short distances
  • at a loss
  • cheated
  • unclean
  • came near
  • Answered
  • Afraid
  • wash for prayers
  • looked careful
  • Deceived
  • Complete:
  1. The villager went to the market ………
  2. The second thief …………..
  3. Although the villager was carrying a goat ………